Monday, March 02, 2009

Iowa Guard ends urban war exercise amid outcry

Excerpted from a article by WILLIAM PETROSKI:

"The Iowa Army National Guard has dropped plans for urban warfare training in the western Iowa town of Arcadia after being deluged by nearly 100 e-mails and phone calls from gun-rights advocates nationwide.

"The four-day event in April would have involved between 90 and 100 combat troops arriving in the Carroll County community in a convoy with a Blackhawk military helicopter flying overhead.

"Troops would have gone door to door, asking the town's 443 residents about a suspected arms dealer and conducting searches of homes if property owners volunteered in advance to cooperate.

"There was no opposition to the Guard's plans from city leaders. But gun-rights advocates were outraged, and news about the exercise became a hot topic nationally on radio talk shows and the Internet."

Ben says:

First, they had to know that having the Guardsmen search for an "arms dealer" was going to set off us gun nuts. The only thing else they could have done to rile folks up more is to practice loading kids into railcars.

Second, the Guard already spent God-knows-how-much building their own MOUT (urban warfare) training site at Camp Dodge (near Des Moines).

I doubt if there was any malicious intent on the part of the Guard and I've got no problem with our boys getting the best training we can give them, but this episode goes to show that the government has lost the trust of the people. That, in and of itself, makes me glad. The government doesn't deserve our trust.


Bawb said...

I don't suspect any grand conspiracy on the part of the Guard leadership either. It's just nice that somebody is paying attention, and that the government is getting the trust from the people which it has earned.

I'm all for good training for the boys, too, but I looked it up and the Guard just spent another $1.5 million in 2007 on upgrades to their MOUT site at Camp Dodge. Isn't this type of training just what the MOUT site is there for?

What is disturbing to me is that the recently-built big fancy Naval Surface Warfare Center MOUT site looks just like Mainstreet, USA and not anything remotely like Fallujah or Kabul.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the problem with MOUT is that they would have to staff the center with "extras"--I mean pay people to act the part of frightened townspeople. I think the Marines do something like that for terrorist kidnapping exercises.

I agree with Bob's comment. I am not sure that training in a US town, with Americans who speak English is great training for the kind of urban warfare I would think the Guard would face.